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Ford Ranger Raptor revealed – performance pickup market set to grow?

Antony Ingram
8 Feb 2018

Diesel-powered Baja-style truck isn't yet confirmed for the UK, but we've got our fingers crossed...


The performance pick-up is a genre lost on those of us in the UK, but overseas – and specifically in the United States and Australia – it’s as much a part of automotive culture as the hot hatchback.

One of the most appealing is the F-150 Raptor sold in the US – a 450bhp, 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged take on one of America’s best-selling vehicles, with trophy truck attitude and a host of upgrades to make it as good in the dunes as a Focus RS is around hairpins.

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And it’s now got a little brother, in the shape of the Ford Ranger Raptor. While not yet confirmed for the US, nor the UK just yet (though Australian sales mean the car is already engineered for right-hand drive), the Ranger Raptor will be built in Thailand, initially sold in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and features plenty of inspiration from its F-150 counterpart.

Developed by Ford Performance, the company calls it ‘A motocross bike, snowmobile and an ATV rolled up into a pickup truck’, and its styling is heavily influenced by the F-150 Raptor, from the shade of blue in these initial images to the wide Ford lettering on the grille and the chunky alloy wheels and off-road tyres.

The bumpers and arches have been flared to take account of the larger rolling stock and the Fox Racing Shox long-travel suspension, while a sizeable skid plate and re-engineered ladder chassis are better suited to the difficult terrain the Ranger Raptor is designed to tackle.

A dedicated Baja mode for the terrain management system (that also includes Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, and Rock modes) is designed specifically for high-speed off-road driving.

Power and torque comes not from a large-capacity petrol like the F-150, but a 2-litre twin-turbocharged diesel designed to pair high torque with low weight. As a result it makes 210bhp and 500Nm, and shares its 10-speed automatic transmission with the full-fat F-150 Raptor.

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Among the safety and infotainment features offered on the Raptor (like those of most modern cars), Ford’s Sync satellite navigation system also has a “breadcrumb” mode, allowing drivers to effectively lay a trail in the navigation over unmapped terrain.

If the Ranger Raptor does come to the UK, the only challenge will be where one might make the most of it. While dedicated off-road driving centres are easy enough to find, our islands aren’t quite blessed with the same expanses of freely-accessible open terrain as our friends and their F-150s...

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